AMC with a Torque Tube

(by the time I figured out this crazy web site, I forget the details of the phone call…)

Regarding the women who’s husband bought an AMC with Reverse only.
You guys made it sound like it would be near impossible for her and her husband to remove the transmission because there was a torque tube attached.

In 1970, I ripped the Coupling Plate (connects the flywheel to the torque converter) on my 1960 Rambler Classic.
I did manage to detach the torque tube and remove the transmission and replace the coupling plate.
I did this with on old, solid-wood door, a bunch of bricks and a bumper jack (in the back of our apartment building on Commonwealth & Brookline avenues, in the snow, with occasional help from a roommate, when I could get it…).

These people have a SHOP, with a PIT!!!

The only important step to remember is, you do have to raise the rear wheels off the ground in order to swing the differential away from the torque tube. You cannot drop the tube if you do not swing the axle.
So, while they do have a pit, they still have to jack up the rear of the car… ie. No Tension on the rear axle…

Everything else is self-evident…

One last point, if they should find a Coupling Plate still being used on their model year, I would at least check for metal fatigue or just replace it.

Good Luck!

I have seen a “come-along” used to swing the rear axle back to remove the transmission on a Buick that had the torque tube drive system. This is similar to what you did. I still think the best way is to drop the rear axle, however.

Sure, this’ll work, but it’s still quite a bit more work than just removing the transmission. And it wasn’t clear how much the caller and her husband knew about how to do it. I wonder how easily they’ll be able to handle the transmission.

No wonder the replacement trans was in the trunk, and not on the car!

I have to take issue with Ray and Tommy’s attitude about AMCs. Although not the flashiest cars (although a 1966 Ambassador 990 DPL is truly a thing of beauty), they were inexpensive, reliable and very well engineered. Also, these cars are incredibly easy to work on. Borg-Warner air cooled transmission = no cooling lines to tranny. The wiring harness has less than 10 points of contact. Most did not come with power steering/power brakes/AC. Since you could get up to a 287 V-8, there is enough room in the engine compartment to literally stand inside with a 199/232 straight six.

Anyhow, removal of the torque tube/rear end is simple. There are three things holding the rear end in place - the shocks, the coil springs and the tube itself. No leaf springs, etc. 1) Remove shocks. 2) Jack up the rear bumper until the coil springs can be removed by hand. 3) Unbolt the front of the tube from the transmission, support the front end of the tube with a floor jack and roll the rear end/tube backwards. I did this on my 1965 Classic and 1966 Rebel - takes less than half an hour (assuming no nuts/bolts rusted in place).

They should also consider pulling the engine/transmission instead of replacing the tranny while it is on the car. Again, this is very simple on these cars - remove the radiator, disconnect the wiring harness/fuel line/heater hoses/transmission linkage, unbolt the motor mounts/grounding strap/transmission support bracket, and pull with a cherry picker. Under 2 hours with two people.